Thursday, November 22, 2012

Arena Maximus

Nope...not Gladiators, Chariot Racing.....Fantasy Chariot Racing where Dwarfs have a brutally tough Steam Train type pulling device and the Undead of course have some Skeleton horse power.
A dedicated gamer at my club suggested we meet midweek in the evenings and throw down some board games. More games to play? Excellent! Good idea Gary and thanks for providing a venue. Among the group of us who are up for this we collectively have a big stack of various games to play (some more than others).

Arena Maximus was our latest experience and it was a lot of fun. The box says it is for 2 to 5 players and we managed to get 2 games in. The first with 3 players then the next with 5 players. We randomly drew our chariots that come with the game. Each has some minimal stats such as an amount you can accelerate your speed per turn (how many spaces you move) and how much damage your chariot can take before becoming a wreck. You can crash out once per game and miss a turn then start moving again with no damage. The random track is revealed by flipping the track sections over as players move around the table and it includes hazards and stables (a pit stop to repair your chariot or mend the your steeds broken bones). A card deck is used with players allocated 7 cards each including very handy magic cards. Magic cards can be used for casting spells and as a substitute card for any of the other cards.
Above is how we ended up. The chariots are inside the track. It was a fun game. We tried moves like blocking each other when chariots tried to pass or move into your same square. We attacked each other with whipping cards as well as ramming and magic spell attacks. Magic also made some chariots teleport ahead avoiding potential damage and I even managed a super boost to move 3 more spaces with magic. At one point the lead player switched some sections around to inflict more hazard damage on chariots trying to catch him up. DAG NAB IT! I wouldn't call this game complex as we picked it up in a short time.

Taking it to the next level.
I was thinking that you really could get your gamer modelling crazy on with this game to make it visually stunning and lift it up off that flat table surface. It actually may not be too much of a stretch to make a big Chariot race track using 28mm or other scale miniatures. Heck, you only need 5 Chariots max. The track space indicator flip cards need to be used in each square so some space is needed for them. Fitting 5 chariots side by side is a consideration for track width but lane position means nothing during the game. I did a little geometry and came up with this layout.
I looked at the photo of the track and came up with 32 spaces. The red areas are for placing the track markers and they could just as easily be placed inside the track rather than the outer edge. Green is start/finish line. A fun project, I wonder how many chariots I can find in the hidden depths of my household.....if only I had more time in a day.

Cheers from Brendon (The Kiwi)

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